We believe essential travel during quarantine should be safe and convenient.

However, amidst a global pandemic, travelers such as doctors, health care workers, and students are facing the restrictions such as mandatory quarantine when entering certain countries. Travelers have to worry about flight information, hotel information, and their personal itinerary. Approved locations for quarantine are limited and very different in terms of locations and prices. We intend to reduce the stress and difficulty of traveling during the pandemic.

Hence, we crafted an innovative and easy-to-use platform where people can see details of quarantine locations, contact information, and requirements to make reservations, all in one app.

What it does

On our web app, users can explore all the quarantine sites in the region of their choice. Information such as room prices and booking restrictions are available when users hover over a specific marker on the map. If users have any questions, they can swiftly reach out to the hotels by phone or email.

Another feature of our app is the ability to remind people how many days there are left until the quarantine session is over. In this reminder, we also included inspiring quotes to help the individual go through the self-quarantine time.

How we built it

We collected our data through webscraping on the Hong Kong government website, and subsequently cleaned & analyzed the data using Pandas. We built our web app using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and used Google Maps and Geolocation APIs to find coordinates of our extracted data. The back-end is built using Node.js and Express.js, and it incorporates the Twilio API which is configured to send scheduled SMS messages. The cron package then schedules the message and checks which logs in the lowdb database should the job run. Ultimately, we deployed our app on Heroku.

For demonstration purposes, the map is centered in Hong Kong, which released the database of the officially approved quarantine sites here.

Challenges we ran into

We had trouble incorporating the Twilio API as it required back-end support. We eventually resolved this after reading through documentation and debugging. We should have planned out the schema of our data before determining the structure, since that caused a lot of trouble for us when we generalize it for more points in the app.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We integrated data science and full-stack web development to create an app that would be of great use to the public. We are proud of our simple and user-friendly website, and we hope travelers with different technological backgrounds are able to use our app without difficulty.

What we learned

  • Data cleaning is a must to get rid of unwanted information and simplify the implementation later on in the process.
  • Styling is a pain but it makes our product look super slick.
  • We explored many locations in Hong Kong!

What's next for Project Quarantine

Hong Kong is a starting point for our app, and we wish to create a web app that serves as the centralized source of information of all designated quarantine places around the world. Thus, this will increase efficiency for essential travelers. Our next step also includes a more detailed search system for users to filter through different hotels via price and location.

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